HOOSICK FALLS, NY>> With questions still lingering about a factory's Superfund status and the village's water contamination, the mayor is demanding answers.
Mayor David Borge, in a letter sent earlier this month to environmental and health officials, asked that they hold another meeting to discuss the cleanup process and opportunities for public participation.
Borge inquired whether the state Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, a state Superfund site, could still be included on the federal Superfund program. He also questioned how the community "can be protected from receiving contradictory information" from the state and federal agencies leading investigative and cleanup efforts.
"Our community needs answers to all of their questions," Borge wrote.
The letter is available on the village website and addressed to Judith Ench, regional adminstrator for the EPA; Basil Seggos, acting commissioner for the state Department of Environmental Conservation; and Howard Zucker, commissioner for the state Department of Health.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical used for decades when making the nonstick coating Teflon, has been found in the village's groundwater.
PFOA levels 40 times EPA's advisory level were found underneath Saint-Gobain's site at 14 McCaffrey St. The manufacturing facility was recently added to the Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Program (the State Superfund), the state's mechanism "for identifying, investigating, and cleaning up sites where the disposal of hazardous waste may present a threat to public health and/or the environment."
The 6.41 acre site "was added to the registry as a Class 2 site that presents a significant threat to public health and/or the
environment," according to a Feb. 16 public notice (www.dec.ny.gov/data/der/factsheet/442046class2.pdf), because of the elevated PFOA levels.
The water issue brought turmoil and uncertainty to the quiet village of 3,500, were residents have been told not to drink or cook with the tap water and financial instutitions have suspended new mortgages on properties on public water.
Borge stated the local government has received numerous questions from residents. Among them: